Fire, Accident, and Theft - Inside MDT

Posted by Al Voth on 2024 Apr 4th

Fire, Accident, and Theft - Inside MDT

Bad things can happen to good gear, like when I managed to wrap my truck around a tree on a hunting trip. When the truck suddenly stopped, inertia dictated that everything inside the vehicle kept going until it contacted a solid object. I was lucky that the two rifles in the back suffered no discernable damage. Other than the truck, the only equipment casualty was a binocular knocked out of alignment—but quickly repaired under warranty.

Of course, the truck was insured and later determined to be a write-off. However, my policy had a non-depreciation clause that said if the vehicle was totaled within the first three years of ownership, the insurance company would pay out the entire purchase price of the truck with no depreciation. Turns out I introduced the truck to that tree at two years and 11 months. Whew!

So, with the truck replaced and binoculars fixed, I was back hunting with minimal cost. I want to say it was because of careful planning, but dumb luck is the real reason. However, the story illustrates two of the three principles gun owners should follow to protect their gear: good warranties, strong preventative measures, and adequate insurance.

Accidents happen.


Like most people, I occasionally break things. Sometimes it's my fault, and sometimes it's a defect in the gear. As with the previously mentioned binoculars, good warranties are easy to find in the optics industry, but the level of service will vary.

Purchasing from manufacturers who provide great product support is always a smart choice.

I once had two riflescopes go south in the same week. They were from two different manufacturers, so I did a test. I boxed up both, taking them to the post office on the same trip. Just over a week later, I had a replacement scope from Leupold. About four months after that, a replacement arrived from the other company. Both looked after me but in vastly different time frames.

I appreciate that MDT offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee on its products. Specifically, anyone unsatisfied with an MDT product can return it within 30 days for a 100% refund. Even after that, MDT provides lifetime product support, typically with a very fast response time.


I've never been the victim of a fire or a major theft, but I've seen the results of both those events enough to be a little paranoid. Firearms are particularly in demand among thieves, so we should try to store them securely. How securely? Some jurisdictions have legislation covering firearm storage, making that your minimum security level. Beyond that, you'll have to determine what fits your personal needs and budget.

Modern security technology can go a long way in preventing firearm thefts.

Technology is definitely our friend when it comes to protecting guns. Modern safes, surveillance cameras, and security systems can all be employed to good effect. Hornady is one of several companies to check out for innovative, secure storage options. I particularly like their SnapSafe line for rifles, which includes modular safes that can be broken down into pieces for placement and assembled on-site.


Fire, accident, and theft also prompt me to ensure I have enough insurance on my shooting gear and sufficient liability coverage for my hunting and shooting activities. Every gun owner should occasionally check their insurance. The amount of insurance needed depends on the value and a good assessment of potential risk.

Insurance experts tell me most home insurance policies cover firearms as part of the personal property underwritten by the policy. But suppose your guns are worth more than what can realistically be covered by your policy. In that case, you'll need to specifically add them as a "scheduled" item. This means you must list them and perhaps be prepared to present a purchase receipt or a certified appraisal to establish value. You'll also have to pay extra, often around one dollar per thousand dollars of coverage. The bottom line is you need to discuss your insurance needs with your broker and find what level of protection is right for you.

Shooting activities are extremely safe, but liability insurance is important to have.

However, if you use firearms, there's one other level of insurance I think you need to consider. While losing guns to fire, theft, or accidental damage can run up some steep bills, the numbers involved pale in comparison to those tossed around in lawsuits. If property is damaged or someone gets hurt because of your hunting or shooting activities, a civil suit has the potential to wipe you out financially. This is why liability insurance is also important for hunting and shooting activities.

Fortunately, sporting firearms use is so safe that liability insurance is dirt cheap. And the best rates I know of are offered by firearm rights organizations. For example, when I renewed my yearly membership a few months ago, I got five million in liability insurance for $9.95. That's a steal.

No question, our shooting gear is expensive and therefore it requires protection. Consider that protection to be like a three-legged stool, with manufacturer product support, loss prevention measures, and insurance making up the legs. When all three are in place, you're on solid ground.



Al Voth calls himself a "student of the gun." Retired from a 35-year career in law enforcement, including nine years on an Emergency Response Team, he now works as an editor, freelance writer, and photographer and keeps active as a consultant in the field he most recently left behind—forensic firearm examination. He is a court-qualified expert in that forensic discipline, having worked in that capacity in three countries. These days, when he's not working, you'll likely find him hunting varmints and predators (the 4-legged variety).


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